Veteran reporter Walter Pincus of the Washington Post has adapted a speech into an essay for Columbia Journalism Review. In it he decries the straying of journalism from its central mission into what he calls a pursuit of glory, prizes and the wrong kind of accolades.
Rather than cover the right sorts of things, Pincus asserts journalism hung itself up on multi-part series for the sake of pursuing Pulitzers --- prestige over what matters -- while permitting resources to be commandeered by public relations houses. Meanwhile, he asserts that the smitten nature of journalists with the Web is an illusion and that readership online isn't what it suggests.
He urges the craft to return to its ideals to serve the community.